HUGHES, TED, 1930-1998.
Letters to Assia Wevill, 1955-1970

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zg9w


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hughes, Ted, 1930-1998.
Title: Letters to Assia Wevill, 1955-1970
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1058
Extent: .75 linear feet (2 boxes and 1 oversized papers box (OP))
Abstract:Letters, manuscripts, poems, drawings, photographs, and miscellaneous documents relating to English poet Ted Hughes and Assia Wevill.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Special restrictions apply: writings by Ted Hughes (letters and literary works) may not be reproduced without the written permission of Carol Hughes. Some photographs may not be reproduced.

Related Materials in This Repository

Ted Hughes papers.

Source

Purchase, 2005.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Ted Hughes, Letters to Assia Wevill, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Elizabeth Chase, October 2006.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Assia Wevill was born Assia Gutman on May 15, 1927, in Berlin, Germany. Her mother, Lisa, was a German Protestant, and her father, Lonya, was a Russian Jew. In the late 1930s, the family fled to Tel Aviv to escape the Nazis. Wevill first married John Steel in London in 1946, and from there emigrated to Canada, sending visas to her family in Israel. In Vancouver, she met her second husband, Richard Lipsey, whom she divorced in 1960 to marry her third husband, David Wevill. The Wevills met Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in London in 1961, and Hughes and Wevill began an affair soon thereafter. Their relationship continued after Plath's suicide, and on March 3, 1965, Wevill gave birth to Alexandra Tatiana Eloise, nicknamed "Shura." Over the course of their relationship, Wevill became increasingly insecure in her relationship with Hughes, and on March 23, 1969, she asphyxiated herself and Shura. Hughes later dedicated his book Crow to their memory.

Assia Wevill was born Assia Gutman on May 15, 1927, in Berlin, Germany. Her mother, Lisa, was a German Protestant, and her father, Lonya, was a Russian Jew. In the late 1930s, the family fled to Tel Aviv to escape the Nazis. Wevill first married John Steel in London in 1946, and from there emigrated to Canada, sending visas to her family in Israel. In Vancouver, she met her second husband, Richard Lipsey, whom she divorced in 1960 to marry her third husband, David Wevill. The Wevills met Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in London in 1961, and Hughes and Wevill began an affair soon thereafter. Their relationship continued after Plath's suicide, and on March 3, 1965, Wevill gave birth to Alexandra Tatiana Eloise, nicknamed "Shura." Over the course of their relationship, Wevill became increasingly insecure in her relationship with Hughes, and on March 23, 1969, she asphyxiated herself and Shura. Hughes later dedicated his book Crow to their memory.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains letters, manuscripts, poems, drawings, photographs, and miscellaneous documents relating to Ted Hughes and Assia Wevill. Included are 61 letters from Hughes to Wevill; included with the letters are drafts for a series of poems on playing cards and a "Draft Constitution," which appears to be an agreement between Ted and Assia concerning her responsibilities towards his children, her household duties, and general behavior. The collection also includes six letters from Assia Wevill to Ted Hughes; one early (1955) letter from Wevill to her sister, Cecilia Chaikin; and three letters from Ted Hughes to Chaikin written after Assia's death. The first two deal with his response to Assia's suicide, while the third responds to Celia's offer to return a number of Plath's manuscripts, which had been sent to her by Assia. Finally, the correspondence contains two letters from David Wevill to Assia, and one letter from Assia to him.

The remainder of the collection consists of a number of manuscript and typescript drafts of Hughes's poems; eight miscellaneous pieces of notes and letters by Assia, addressed obliquely to Hughes; and a number of photographs of Assia Wevill, both alone and with Hughes, Shura, Frieda, and Nicholas. One of the typescripts, which bears the title "For Aya," represents a preliminary version, in four parts, of the longer sequence of poems published as "The New World", while another poem, "Little Blood," contains an extra stanza omitted in publication. Other typescripts include variant titles, and one bears additional manuscript material on its reverse side. Two of the poems, "Crow Outlawed" and "Carrion Tiresias Examines the Sacrifice," appear to be unpublished.

Arrangement Note

Arranged chronologically by record type.


Selected Search Terms

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Topical Terms

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Container List

Correspondence
Yehunda Amichai to Assia Wevill
Box Folder Content
1 1 Amichai, Yehunda, to Assia Wevill, 13 June 1968, ALS, 2pp
Ted Hughes to Celia Chaikin
1 2 Hughes, Ted, to Celia Chaikin, 14 April 1969, ALS, 2pp
1 3 Hughes, Ted, to Celia Chaikin, 11 March 1970, TLS, 1p
1 4 Hughes, Ted, to Celia Chaikin, 3 May 1970, TLS, 1p
Ted Hughes to Assia Wevill
1 5 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 27 March 1963, ALS, 2pp
1 6 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 3 October 1963, ALS, 2pp
1 7 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 15 November 1963, ALS, 2pp
1 8 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 24 November 1963, AL, 2pp
1 9 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 2 December 1963, AL, 1p
1 10 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 12 December 1963, AL, 1p
1 11 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 3 January 1964, ALS, 1p
1 12 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 5 January 1964, AL, 2pp
1 13 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 15 January 1964, AL, 2pp
1 14 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 31 January 1964, AL, 1p
1 15 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 9 February 1964, AL, 2pp
1 16 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 11 February 1964, AL, 1p
1 17 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 13 February 1964, AL, 2pp
1 18 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 18 February 1964, AL, 2pp
1 19 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 19 February 1964, AL, 1p
1 20 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 21 April 1964, AL, 1p
1 21 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, [6 May 1964], AL, 2pp
1 22 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 14 September 1964, AL, 1p
1 23 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 12 November 1964, AL, 1p
1 24 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 26 November 1964, AL, 1p
1 25 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 16 December 1964, AL, 1p
1 26 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 7 February 1965, AL, 2pp
1 27 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 14 February 1965, AL, 2pp
1 28 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 16 February 1965, AL, 2pp
1 29 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 18 February 1965, AL, 2pp
1 30 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 15 Feburary 1965, AL, 2pp
1 31 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 19 February 1965, AL, 2pp
1 32 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 5 May 1965, AL, 2pp
1 33 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 15 August 1965, AL, 2pp
1 34 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 18 August 1965, AL, 1p
1 35 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 31 August 1965, AL, 2pp [contains MS poems "Queen [Clubs]," "King of [Spades]," "King of [Diamonds]," "King of [Clubs]," and "King of [Hearts]"]
1 36 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 5 September 1965, AL, 3pp [contains MS poems "Knave of Hearts," "The Knave of Spades," and "The Knave of Clubs"]
1 37 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 14 September 1965, AL, 2pp
1 38 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 4 October 1965, AL, 1p
1 39 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 14 October 1965, AL, 1p
1 40 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 10 November 1965, AL, 1p
1 41 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 3 January 1966, AL, 1p
1 42 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 23 October 1967, ALS, 2pp
1 43 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 21 November 1967, ALS, 2pp
1 44 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 31 December 1967, AL, 1p
1 45 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 17 February 1968, AL, 2pp [contains MS in TH's hand of poem by Frieda Hughes, "My Secret Garden"]
1 46 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 4 July 1968, AL, 1p
1 47 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, 7 November 1968, TLS, 1p
1 48 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 49 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 50 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 51 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 52 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 53 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 54 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 55 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 56 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 57 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 58 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 59 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 60 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 2pp
1 61 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 62 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 63 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 64 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 65 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, AL, 1p
1 66 Hughes, Ted, to Assia Wevill, undated, TL, 3pp [contains "Draft Constitution: for suggestions and corrections"]
Assia Wevill to Celia Chaikin
1 67 Wevill, Assia, to Celia Chaikin, 24 April 1955, TL, 3pp
2 1 Wevill, Assia, to Celia Chaikin, 1952-1969
OP1 1 Wevill, Assia, to Celia Chaikin, 1962 December 18
Assia Wevill to Ted Hughes
1 68 Wevill, Assia, to Ted Hughes, 22 January 1964, AL, 1p
1 69 Wevill, Assia, to Ted Hughes, 2 February 1968, TLS, 1p
1 70 Wevill, Assia, to Ted Hughes, 4 April 1968, TL with artwork, 1p
1 71 Wevill, Assia, to Ted Hughes, undated, AL, 2pp
1 72 Wevill, Assia, to Ted Hughes, undated, AL, 1p
1 73 Wevill, Assia, to Ted Hughes, undated, ALS, 2pp
Assia Wevill to David Wevill
1 74 Wevill, Assia, to David Wevill, undated, AL, 1p [verso contains untitled MS by David Wevill
David Wevill to Assia Wevill
1 75 Wevill, David, to Assia Wevill [19 April 1968], ALS, 2pp
1 76 Wevill, David, to Assia Wevill [April 1968], ALS, 2pp
Journal Entries
2 2 Assia Wevill, 2 journals, 1968 August - 1962 October
1 77 Assia Wevill, 29-31 November 1966, TS, 3pp
1 78 Assia Wevill, 6 September 1968, 16 January 1969, and undated, MS, 2pp
Manuscripts
1 79 Amichai, Yehunda, "Spoleto," MS, 2pp
1 80 Hughes, Ted, "Carrion Tiresias Examines the Sacrifice," TS, 1p
1 81 Hughes, Ted, "Crow Outlawed," TS, 1p
1 82 Hughes, Ted, "Crow Sickened," TS, 1p
1 83 Hughes, Ted, "Fleeing From Eternity," corrected TS, 1p
1 84 Hughes, Ted, "For Aya," TS, 2pp
1 85 Hughes, Ted, "Little Blood," TS, 1p
1 86 Hughes, Ted, "Meeting," MS, 1p
1 87 Hughes, Ted ["Not the Needle's Eye"], MS, 2pp
1 88 Hughes, Ted, notes for a play, MS, written on verso of "Crow's Amulet," TS, 3pp
1 89 Hughes, Ted, "Watersong," TS, 1p
1 90 Wevill, Assia ["Why Mr. L. is not a swine"], TS, 1p
2 4 Wevill, Assia, writings, undated
Other Papers
1 91 Astrological chart, "3rd March 1965 9.55 p.m.," MS, 1p
1 92 Check, Ted Hughes to The Zeitland Hotel, 7 March 1966
1 93 Envelopes, unmatched envelopes, Ted Hughes to Assia Wevill
1 94 Invitation, Fifteenth Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, The Arts Council of Great Britain, 30 June 1968
1 95 Notes, Assia Wevill, MS, 2pp
1 96 Notes, Assia Wevill, MS, 1p
1 97 Paystub, Assia Wevill, July 1968
1 98 Sketch, Ted Hughes, undated, 1p
1 99 Telegram, Esther [ ] to Ted Hughes, 14 May 1968
1 100 Will, Assia Wevill, 27 April 1967, reproduction of TS, 2pp
Photographs
2 3 Wevill, Assia, 1933-1968
1 101 Wevill, Assia, Vancouver, 1950
1 102 Wevill, Assia, Great Hormead, May 1959
1 103 Wevill, Assia, Quebec, 1964
1 104 Wevill, Assia, 1964
1 105 Wevill, Assia, and [Vati], 1965
1 106 Wevill, Assia, Frieda Hughes, Alexandra "Shura" Wevill, and Nicholas Hughes, December 1966
1 107 Hughes, Ted, Assia Wevill, and Alexandra "Shura" Wevill, undated.
1 108 Wevill, Assia, undated
1 109 Wevill, Assia, and Alexandra "Shura" Wevill, undated
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